I've decided to go with suspension modifications as opposed to swaybars due to the recent disasters from aftermarket swaybar use (though I have the metal mounts, I'm still wary). Bilstein/H&R seems to be the best combo, and I'm ordering.<p>Just wanted to keep you up to date, and thanks for your help and suggestions.<p>Cameron<br>
10-21-1998, 07:19 PM
although (based on what I've heard, but not seen) it's not necessarily the plastic vs. metal swaybar link that has caused the problem. The fact that the halfshafts are wanging the plastic AND metal links in some cars tells me that nobody took the time to remove the rear springs, re-assemble the suspension and jack the whole suspension thru it's complete range of motion to see if anything hit.... The bigger issue seems to be the inability of the stamped steel subframe to take the additional flexing loads at the bushing mounts with a stiffer bar. Machine up large front and back mounting plates to spread the load out (and maybe weld them to the sub-frame for a better mechanical connection and to more effectively spread out the stress), but somebody is gonna have to Guinea Pig this one. Remember: medical experiments fail. <p>I'd let someone else be the Lemming.<p>John/TSR <p>The rear sub-frame doesn't look particular substantial, but it's still happy and healthy in my car (stock sport suspension, 30K miles).<p>Since you, like me, live in the land of snow/ice/crappy roads, don't go too extreme with lower springs. A lower, stiffer suspension will become a horrifying handfull when the roads get slick and you're trying to push your way thru 12" of frozen slop. When traction goes away, you want a SOFT, SUPPLE suspension. Slammin & Jammin is ok if you've got dry roads and no potholes, but it ain't no fun up here in the tundra.
10-21-1998, 08:07 PM
Hey Cameron,<p>I was thinking about going with this combination as well. Do you know if both sport and HD version of the Bilstein shock is available for the A4, and if they both have the adjustable spring perch?<p>What about the H&Rs? Race or Sport? <p>Anyone know which combination of Bilstein and H&R will work well together?<p>Thanks<p>James Wu<br>A4 Club of Vancouver<br>1998 Black/Onyx 1.8tqa<p><ul><li><a href="http://avant.extreme.com/va4">A4 Club of Vancouver</a></li></ul>
10-21-1998, 08:31 PM
10-21-1998, 08:31 PM
Duh...what da ya want me ta do?<p>Lemmings Anonymous<br>Steve S. - Acting President
10-22-1998, 07:31 AM
John,<p>Where do you live? I agree with you about the suspension, it does seem like a practical chice and it doesn't cut off any future options (including detuning).<p>I had a 323 GTX (AWD) with Tokico dirtras and and adj spring kit. I only doubled the stock spring rate to Group N specs and the car was pretty challenging to drive in the snow and ice. It liked to get airborne and skate a bunch, even with minus 2 wheels and snow tires.<p>The halfshaft issue really does seem like a simple aftermarket design error. From what I have seen, the END of the bar actually hits the halfshaft. I would much rather have the plastic link get worn down.<p>How would you retrodesign the subframe? It is not clear to me, but it seems like the whole subframe is flexing.
10-22-1998, 07:55 AM
Erik, the half shaft does not hit the plastic link at its END....it hits about 1/4 to 1/3 the way up from the bottom. The subframe has these ear like fins that seem to love to twist. This is what cracked on my car, Sharon Levy's, and Jim Simones. What I am worried about is all those people that are looking in the wrong spot for the subframe damage and think they are ok, when in actuality, they are not. I have in my possession a design (prototype) of one side of the support piece. I need to install it to see if it fits correctly. If it does, I will get a fab shop, or some other knowledgeable party to assist me in mirroring this piece for the other side. I can take a picture of it and post, but it would be impossible to make one from the picture...too many variables. Email me if you want to talk more about this. I am hoping that Neuspeed develops something similar that I can use instead.<p>Steve S.<br>97 2.8QM<br>
10-22-1998, 07:56 AM
10-22-1998, 08:22 AM
I cannot check the home one until I get home.<p>Did you send me more than one....my work email is actually working for a change. :-)<p>Steve<br>
10-22-1998, 12:19 PM
Steve,<p>It looked like it was the end of the sway bar that could hit the halfshaft, not the link (since it has a curve to it). Unless the link in in the outer hole, where it comes into contact with the shaft first. <p>I guess it seems sort of intuitive that the link should be different when the car is dropped because the angles change. For example, I redesigned another car's suspension and had to get much shorter links to compensate for lowering the car.<p>John is absolutely right about moving the part through the whole range of motion when designing and installing stuff like that. I once discovered that my fancy Goodrich brake line was too short for a full bumpstop compression. Luckily, I did this before it was driven, as it would would have torn apart: perfect for rally!
10-22-1998, 02:17 PM
To replace the front dampers on a A4 1.8TQ, the Bilsteins are available in both HD and Sport.<p>The two are valved the same and have the same compression and rebound values. They both have (5) grooved shock bodies to adjust the spring perch. The Sport model has a piston that is 20 mm shorter when extended. This, according to Bilstein, is required for lowering the car more than 50 mm. The shorter length is supposed to help prevent the spring from unseating itself under extreme unloading conditions, e.g., when airborn.<p>I'm not sure if it changes the chassis dynamics if you use the Sport shocks and don't lower the car that much or otherwise. I was told that the two types are, for the mostpart, interchangeable.<p>The rear dampers are only available in the Sport version for the Quattro and have four grooves for the spring perch.<p>HTH,<br>Jim